Valter is a person with disability from Kavaja who receives social assistance. Municipalities publish every month the list of beneficiaries eligible for social assistance. Having no other way to find out if his name was in the list, Valter had to travel from his remote village to town every month.
Things took a turn for the better this time. Valter could access this information online.
“It saved travel time, money and too much energy. This was a big news for me and other people with disabilities.”-said Valter.
Kavaja is among 35 Municipalities supported by STAR2 Project- Consolidation of Territorial Administrative Reform” to digitalize and publish online the decisions of the Municipality Council.
As part of the project, the 61 newly created municipalities of Albania are receiving assistance to carry out their new and extended competencies and strengthen service delivery to their citizens.
With the aim of providing higher quality, more accessible and transparent public services, the project is helping establish “One Stop Shops” for the remaining 49 municipalities missing these structures.
One Stop Shops will enable Albanian citizens to access over 60 administrative services through one single office. These services include constructions permits, tax payment, certificates of various kinds- to mention only a few.
The project also aims to develop and establish a local data hub leading to a benchmarking system to measure municipal performance thus providing to the Government of Albania, a Data Platform, which will encourage decision and policy makers at the local, regional and central level improve the quality of public services and increase transparency.
Project interventions also aim at making the local government more accountable to the people. Based on the Law on the Right to Information, a standard model of Transparency Plan associated with a performance measurement system of transparency is developed in consultation with local and national stakeholders and expected to become official shortly.
In line with the requirement of the Law on Public Notification and Consultation, municipalities will receive training on effective and inclusive public consultations.
The Government of Albania since September 2013 started implementation of an administrative and territorial reform aiming to re-organize the local governments units.
In July 2014, the Parliament of Albania approved the law on administrative reform, dividing the country into 61 units. The consolidation of the newly established 61 municipalities resulting from the administrative and territorial reform was a pressing priority to be addressed for ensuring a well-functioning local government and increasing service delivery, service expansion to rural and suburban areas.
STAR 2 project is working to strengthen institutional and administrative capacities of local administrations across the 61 municipalities of Albania; increase the efficiency of local service delivery, enhance local democracy through fostering citizen-oriented governance and participatory decision-making, leveraging the role of women as actors of change.
STAR 2 enjoys support by many international development partners through a pooled funding mechanism. International partners include: the European Union, the Government of Sweden through Swedish International Development Agency, the Government of Italy through Italian Development Cooperation, Swiss Government through Swiss Development Cooperation, the United States through the United States Agency for International Development and UNDP and the Government of Albania.